A Wisconsin town is taking a unique approach to the problem of bullying among children and teens by allowing police officers to ticket the alleged bully's parents for a municipal code violation, which could come with a fine of over $100.
The Wisconsin State Journal reports the new tactic is part of a broader ordinance aimed at curbing bullying that was passed by the city council in Monona on May 20.
MyFoxTwinCities.com reports the ordinance is only meant to target people whose children are repeatedly bullying others. The parent or guardian must be informed by an officer of a separate bullying violation by the same individual within the past 90 day before they would face a fine.
Monona Police Chief Wally Ostrenga tells the Wisconsin State Journal the fine is only meant for parents who are unwilling to cooperate with officials seeking to curb bullying by their child, saying parents who are making an effort to address the issue would not be fined.
“Sometimes you’ll knock on someone’s door and they won’t want to talk to you — their kids are perfect, they could never do anything wrong,” Ostrenga told the paper. “This is for those times when we get the door slammed in our faces.”
MyFoxTwinCities.com reports first-time offenders would face a fine of $114, and subsequent violations within the same year would carry fines of $177 each.
The city's mayor says he hopes the new ordinance will show any victims of bullying that the city is taking their concerns seriously.
“Ordinances reflect the values of a community,” he told the Wisconsin State Journal. “It would be my desire that the bullying ordinance reflects the values of Monona.”